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RainDog's Journal
RainDog's Journal
May 31, 2013

Mason Tvert, (Marijuana Policy Project) with Chris Hayes

on Colorado's recent legalization.

May 31, 2013

Low Doses of THC protect brain/may halt brain injuries


Prof. Yosef Sarne of Tel Aviv University's Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine says that the drug has neuroprotective qualities...He has found that extremely low doses of THC -- the psychoactive component of marijuana -- protects the brain from long-term cognitive damage in the wake of injury from hypoxia (lack of oxygen), seizures, or toxic drugs. Brain damage can have consequences ranging from mild cognitive deficits to severe neurological damage.

Previous studies focused on injecting high doses of THC within a very short time frame -- approximately 30 minutes -- before or after injury. Prof. Sarne's current research, published in the journals Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research, demonstrates that even extremely low doses of THC -- around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional marijuana cigarette -- administered over a wide window of 1 to 7 days before or 1 to 3 days after injury can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function over time.

...While performing experiments on the biology of cannabis, Prof. Sarne and his fellow researchers discovered that low doses of the drug had a big impact on cell signalling, preventing cell death and promoting growth factors. This finding led to a series of experiments designed to test the neuroprotective ability of THC in response to various brain injuries.

...According to Prof. Sarne, there are several practical benefits to this treatment plan. Due to the long therapeutic time window, this treatment can be used not only to treat injury after the fact, but also to prevent injury that might occur in the future. For example, cardiopulmonary heart-lung machines used in open heart surgery carry the risk of interrupting the blood supply to the brain, and the drug can be delivered beforehand as a preventive measure. In addition, the low dosage makes it safe for regular use in patients at constant risk of brain injury, such as epileptics or people at a high risk of heart attack.

Hello, DEA. We're sick of your lies. Stop treating this plant like it's a dangerous drug, like, say, all those pharmaceuticals that you have no problem with in spite of their many negative side effects.

Sincerely, American People
May 29, 2013

Louisiana Passes Bill to Lessen Marijuana Penalties


I sent out some love to Louisiana here the other day... http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022893488

The Louisiana House narrowly passed a bill Wednesday to dramatically lessen penalties for marijuana possession. With little more than a week left in the 2013 session, the legislation now moves to the Senate side for further debate.

House Bill 103, sponsored by state Rep. Austin Badon, D-New Orleans, would lessen the jail time and fines imposed on someone convicted of simple marijuana possession. Speaking on the House floor Wednesday, Badon said the bill would save the state money in incarceration costs as well as keep people united with their families and in their jobs.

Under current law, a first-time offender could be jailed up to six months. A repeat offender could be sentenced up to five years, with those convicted three times open to a 20 year jail sentence.

Badon's bill would lessen this jail time to not more than two years for repeat offenders, five years for third-time offenders and eight years for those convicted four or more times. The maximum fine for possession would also be lessened from $5,000 to $2,500.

The earlier bill failed - the penalties were less than in the current bill that passed in the House. But I'm so happy to see places that make bad laws a little better, at least.

Still have a ways to go, but every bit of progress matters.

May 25, 2013

Historic Marijuana Bills Approved in Colorado

Discussion of the recent legislation in Colorado

May 24, 2013

L.A. City Councilman Bill Rosendahl - 1st "out" politician/cannabis patient


The video is nearly 30 minutes long at the link, but well worth listening to as Rosendahl talks about cannabis policy and his own experience with cannabis as a cancer patient.
May 24, 2013

Louisiana Marijuana Sentencing Reform Bill Fails

State Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans) had introduced a bill to address this reality:

As of 2012, Louisiana held the honor of having the highest prison population in the world, with an estimated 40,000 people locked up in the state's prisons. That number is cited as thirteen times times the total number of inmates in Chinese prisons. In 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice's Bureau of Justice Statistics reported that more than 12-percent of inmates at the state and federal levels are serving for marijuana offenses, costing Americans an estimated one billion dollars a year (that's with nine zeroes people).


HB 103 was intended to create more appropriate sentences for marijuana. A third arrest for marijuana possession in Louisiana can result in a 20 year sentence. No distinction is made between people arrested for something like simple possession and violent offenders under sentencing laws in the state.

Badon's bill went to the floor for the third reading and the final vote had a majority of the legislators present voting in favor of the legislation, with 46 yeas to the 45 nays. However, though the majority present voted in favor, any bill must pass with a simple majority of total house members. As there are 105 house members, those 46 yes' fell short of the 53 necessary to enact new law.

HB 103, had set to create more appropriate sentences for marijuana and cannabinoid offenses—sentences that could help boost the state's economy by collecting fines, and reducing the state's world-record prison population with more realistic sentencing guidelines. The law would have also created a crowbar of separation between marijuana and synthetics (which have been shown to have side-effects and can create legitimate health problems).

Please, Louisiana. Stop this nonsense.

The legislation can be brought to vote again.

Pops was arrested for possession back in the day. Your law could've prevented the inventor of the jazz solo from ever achieving his brilliance. You're so proud of your jazz, Louisiana. Jazz and reefer have a long and storied history. Stop pretending it's something it's not and stop undermining the lives of the people in your state.

May 23, 2013

Undercover cop begs autistic kid to break the law, then arrests him


Californians Doug and Catherine Snodgrass are suing their son’s high school for allowing undercover police officers to set up the 17-year-old special-needs student for a drug arrest.

In a video segment on ABC News, they say they were "thrilled" when their son -- who has Asperger's and other disabilities and struggled to make friends -- appeared to have instantly made a friend named Daniel.

"Daniel," however, was an undercover cop with the Riverside County Sheriff's Department who " hounded" the teenager to sell him his prescription medication. When he refused, the undercover cop gave him $20 to buy him weed, and he complied -- not realizing the guy he wanted to befriend wanted him behind bars.

In December, the unnamed senior was arrested along with 21 other students from three schools, all charged with crimes related to the two officers' undercover drug operation at two public schools in Temecula, California (Chaparral and Temecula Valley High School). This March, Judge Marian H. Tully ruled that Temecula Valley Unified School District could not expel the student, and had in fact failed to provide him with proper services.

So, police are resorting to entrapment to get special needs kids to sell them drugs so they can arrest them???????


What the fuck is wrong with this nation that police are going after AUTISTIC KIDS to put them IN JAIL after ASKING THEM to break the law?
May 22, 2013

San Diego Mayor Urges Jury Nullification for MJ Dispensary Case


San Diego Mayor Bob Filner has injected himself into a federal criminal case against the operator of a medical marijuana dispensary, intensifying his standoff with federal prosecutors on cannabis enforcement issues.

Filner's urging jurors who'll be chosen for the trial to reject federal law in favor of state statutes under a centuries-old legal concept known as “jury nullification"-- whereby jurors can refuse to convict people under laws they believe should not be applied.

"This is way overdoing it when local laws, state laws allow compassionate use of medical marijuana,” Filner told reporters at the downtown U.S. District Court complex Monday. “Someone should not be going through this stage of prosecution for trying to help people to have access to medical marijuana."

Filner spoke after attending a pretrial hearing for Ronnie Chang, a San Marcos man busted along with more than a dozen marijuana collective and dispensary operators countywide in late 2009.

If you are called for jury duty on a marijuana case, you can choose not to enforce federal law. You can inform your fellow jurors of the possibility of jury nullification and refuse to convict based upon corrupt, outdated, racist-inspired law.

The more this happens, the sooner we will be rid of current federal prohibition.
May 18, 2013

The For-Profit Prison Economy, with its racist basis

surely has an impact upon employment opportunities, beyond the basics of economic life, such as access to opportunities by who you know, the history of wealth accumulation among a very few, to the exclusion of everyone else, and laws that have worked to undo advances previously made in this nation to actually have a govt. that serves the people of this nation, not just the rich people of this nation.

From 1980 to 2008, the number of people incarcerated in America quadrupled-from roughly 500,000 to 2.3 million people. Today, the US is 5% of the World population and has 25% of world prisoners.

From The Sentencing Project's "Prison Privatization and the Use of Incarceration" (2004) - the War on Drugs became the spur to create private prisons because of overcrowding in prisons from the laws enacted (Mandatory Minimums, Three Strikes, Stop and Frisk, sentencing disparities based upon race.)

The current for-profit prison system, begun in the 1980s, has made the U.S. more of a penal colony than China - that's the gift from conservatives that keeps on giving, year after year, with cumulative effects on earning power over a lifetimes, as well as effects on employment options.


-African Americans now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million incarcerated population
-African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites
-Together, African American and Hispanics comprised 58% of all prisoners in 2008, even though African Americans and Hispanics make up approximately one quarter of the US population.
-5 times as many Whites are using drugs as African Americans, yet African Americans are sent to prison for drug offenses at 10 times the rate of Whites
-African Americans serve virtually as much time in prison for a drug offense (58.7 months) as whites do for a violent offense (61.7 months).

This isn't the first time various states have used prison to deny rights to African-Americans. During Reconstruction, whites could arrest blacks (mostly men) and put them on work gangs - and this was never challenged because of the racism that undergirded the practice among the powerful.

Another function of the for-profit prison system is to increase population numbers in rural, predominantly white areas of states, which gives more voting power to those who are elected from those areas - and this, as well, becomes a self-reinforcing form of racism because it is in the vested interests of politicians and certain members of the population to create economies built on imprisoning other members of society.

Kurt Schmoke, former mayor of Baltimore, noted that the war on drugs is really a war on African-Americans and Hispanics, since they are disproportionately singled out for arrest and because, when other avenues to create revenue are blocked, illegal activity is the way for someone to make money outside of the system in place for those who are either part of the elite or the few who get "elevated" to the elite to serve as a sop to everyone else of a particular race or gender so they can ignore the systemic dysfunction that comes from the racism and sexism that is part of the foundation of the history of property.

May 18, 2013

African-Americans were hard hit by the 2008 bank bail out

Both African-American men and women have been harder hit than white females.

In the cases of both race and gender, the legacy of slavery continues to impact people, whether the slavery was based upon race or gender.

The commonality between all African-Americans and all women is that both groups, in American society, were not simply considered second-class citizens, they were considered property.

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